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Certification Watch (Vol. 18, No. 45)

In this week's roundup of the latest IT certification news, the British Computer Society has a new UX cert, CompTIA help non-techies learn the fundamentals of IT, and more.

Thanks to U.S. Armed Forces on Veteran's Day

Military men and Statue of Liberty

Veteran's Day in the United States is often a quiet, unassuming holiday, perhaps a fitting reflection of the bearing and conduct of most veterans. The sacrifices asked of the men and women who serve in the Armed Forces are often enormous, however, and vital to the continuation of the relatively safe, secure existence that's as natural and unremarkable to most Americans as the rising and setting of the sun. So if you know or see a veteran, today or this month, say something kind. Or if you'd like to do more than that, take advantage of one of the many programs that exist in the IT realm to help men and women who've left service make the transition to civilian life and find a job in IT. Even just offering some sound advice may be helpful. Tech employment firm Robert Half Technology recently spoke with a small panel of veterans and posted a two-part summary of their counsel. Check out Part One and Part Two and pass the information along. There's probably someone connected to you who could benefit.


New UX Credential Offered by BCS


There's an entire branch of IT dedicated to playing on the emotions and attitudes of consumers when it comes to individual interaction with computer technology. As man becomes more intimately connected to his machines, the importance of assuring a productive, positive and — here's the real kicker — profitable interaction between people and technology increases by the day. A good UX professional can find work just about anywhere, and salaries are on the rise. The British Computer Society is the latest group to surf the UX wave, by offering a new credential to help interested IT pros make their mark. Any organization that involves the internet in its business plan or provides any sort of technology-driven products or services is either looking to involve UX expertise, or looking to involve more of it. So even if you aren't looking to change jobs, there's a good chance that UX could lead to expanded opportunities with your current employer. The BCS credential is a "tip of the iceberg" primer aimed at introducing newcomers to the field, but there are many other options for people with a more advanced understanding of UX.


Microsoft Partners with AT&T for Hackathon Events


Ever since that one Greek guy became synonomous with both good tidings and running until you fall over and die, introducing world languages to the word "marathon" in the process, people have been eagerly co-opting his legend to describe anything that involves intense effort over a protracted period. (Usually the part about falling over dead gets left out, though modern marathons typically have medical professionals present to render aid to participants who push themselves a little too far.) Now AT&T and Microsoft Learning are teaming up to involve tech geeks in a series of "hackathon" events. The first two grueling trials of hacking endurance ("Yo, Chip, pass me another pizza, bro, my fingers are about to FALL. OFF.") have already come and gone, but there's an event in Los Angeles this weekend, and another one coming up in Miami Dec. 4 and 5. There are prizes for busting out your best Microsoft-connected app, and it's also a great time of year to visit Los Angeles of Miami, so flex that gray matter and get involved.


Learning the Basics of IT is as Easy as 1-2-3


Though it may be shocking to those of us who spend more time looking at monitors than at the faces of other humans, the whole information technology thing that sucks up our existence day by day isn't always second nature to everyone else. Believe it or not, there are people in the world who aren't your Great Aunt Ruby, but who nevertheless struggle to grasp the basics of IT. To help such neophytes begin to thrive in the digital era, there are a number of low-level certs aimed at handholding low-tech individuals into a high-tech existence. CompTIA has one such credential, its IT Fundamentals cert. This week, there's a nice story about how a little IT knowledge can revitalize even established careers over at CompTIA's IT Career News blog. It doesn't take much to get oneself going, so if you know someone who's tech-averse but ready to shake things up, an IT Fundamentals crash course could be just the ticket.


Cisco Offers New Cloud Credential for Networking Pros


If Huey Lewis were alive today, then he would surely put a fresh spin on a rock and roll classic by singing about how it's "Hip to Be (Condensed Water Vapor and) Air." It's the Cloud, braw, and even Huey would tell you that nothing is more "where it's at" these days than cloud computing technology. (What's that you say? Not dead yet?) Last week in this space we gave a shout out to Oracle's new cloud certification offerings, and now it's Cisco Learning Network that is anxious to get your head in the Cloud. CCNA Cloud is so new that it practically blew in on the autumn breeze (OK, technically it was rolled out in June), but there's no time to waste getting yourself up to speed and your career on target. According to a recent survey cited by CLN, 93 percent of businesses studied are involved in cloud computing at some level. Cloud touches on most IT disciplines, which is why just about everyone has some sort of cloud cert or other. Jump on it now, while you can still be on the leading edge of the wave.


That's all for this edition of Certification Watch. Please keep your certification news and tips coming to the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..